As the Evening Standard goes free today and also begin a series of scathing special reports about the BBC.
Today’s report is all about the money. Stephen Robinson writes about the wages claimed by the upper echelons of the BBC management, pointing out that 47 BBC executives earn more than the PM.
Taking the example of Jana Bennett, Head of Vision, he asks: “What is the point of her?”
One BBC reporter referred to the BBC bureaucracy as “a giant inverted triangle bearing down on those of us still trying to make programmes.”
It seems from Robinson’s article that the well paid execs and stars, and the newly created job titles, are enfuriating to less well off journalists and others at the sharp end.
Robinson particularly singles out deputy director general Mark Byford. Even though he is on over half a million a year, Robinson notes that he still managed to claim £14.99 on a leaving present for a colleague and £1.25 a day for newspapers.
But Robinson also points out that, despite this “top-heavy” pay structure, those who work for the BBC still, just about, love it and support its current structure.
Robinson quotes an unnamed presenter: “The warning here is Gorbachev. Once you start trying to reform an organisation such as the BBC, it collapses, just like the old Soviet Union.”